On December 30, my friend Batgirl welcomed her son, Dashiell John, into the world. She and her husband, Jeb, were in town for the holidays when they discovered she was in labor about eight weeks ahead of schedule. Dash ended up being born right here in Minneapolis, and although he weighed in at a slight 3 pounds, 2 ounces, he is able to breathe on his own and is healthy enough that he’ll spend the next few weeks in the special care nursery, not the NICU.
After confirming with the new parents that it would be okay, My Ho and I made plans to visit Batgirl and Jeb in the hospital on Tuesday evening. I was very much looking forward to meeting the newest member of Team Batgirl.
Then, on Tuesday afternoon, the DemiGoddesses received a call from my Ex with sad news. We had no longer been expecting that his baby, also a boy, would make it to term, but the hope was that he could hang in there for another few weeks, long enough that surgery might be a viable option. But when my Ex called, it was to tell the Demis that the baby’s heart had stopped beating that morning. There wasn’t anything left to be done but induce labor.
That night at the hospital, I stood next to the incubator as baby Dash slept, pink and tiny and perfect, with one scrawny arm thrown back over his head like he was sunbathing under the bilirubin lights. Watching his little chest move up and down as he breathed, I was in awe and in love, while at that very same moment, I ached over the loss of the one named Henry, whose due date had been within a few days of Dash’s.
Some days life is impossibly wonderful. Some days it is brutally unfair. That day, it was both.